May Athlete of the Month: Rachel

Ever since I can remember I have been going to or playing in sports tournaments. I started out watching my sister play soccer and softball and I soon followed suit. I played softball at the local league but I was never really that good. I remember drawing during the innings in the outfield. Until my last two seasons of softball I played outfield. When my coaches (my mom and my aunt) decided to give me more responsibility on the team they played me at shortstop and catcher. I soon after had to choose between year around soccer or softball. I chose soccer because I knew my mom would never be my coach on the soccer field!

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At the beginning of my soccer career I played sweeper, last defender. I excelled at sweeper and looked to move to a team that could better foster that talent. After moving teams a few times and having several failed field position changes, I ended up at La Jolla Nomads club team. The team I was with was great and we seemed to be one of the best in our age bracket in all of San Diego. But once the team got college level coaches is when the team and especially my skills seemed to grow exponentially. My coach made me captain of the team in charge of warm up and team leadership. I was trained after normal practice to be in charge of penalty and corner kicks. Within a few months I could feel my precision in the growing and with the new coaching the team soon became undefeatable. The year I graduated from high school in 2010 was the year my Nomads soccer team won the California State Cup!

I was aware that many college recruits were attending the tournament, watching people that had sought out the attention of recruits. But my coach had those so highly of my soccer ability that he called several colleges and brought their soccer scouts out to southern California to watch me play. I was contacted by a very small university and offered a scholarship to play at the University of the Pacific but even with a maximum athletic scholarship, the private school was not affordable. One other university that accepted me into their program was CBU in Riverside. But because my recruitment process was so late in the summer there was no more scholarship money available, so I could not afford that school either. But that did not deter me from playing soccer. I was still young enough to play for another year in the under 19 age bracket. Sadly the following year the team had lost at least half of the big impact players and we only qualified for finals in the next year’s State Cup tournament.

During year around soccer I was also competing in high school track. Track start out amazing my freshman year because of a crazy and intense coach who made me strong and faster than I have ever been. I competed in the long jump and triple jump events and dabbled in relays when needed. As a freshmen I focused my attention on the long jump where my initial personal record was 16’ 9” at the Frosh/Soph meet. I was thrilled and excited to be ranked in the top 6 freshmen girls in California. At the CIF preliminary meet I came in second place with a new PR of over 17’. Sadly, and injury and the lack of a crazy coach stopped me from doing well any year after that.

After high school I have stayed in the loop of athleticism in certain ways and failed in others. After my last season of soccer, it ended because of a broken foot which left me in a slump and depression. But that did not stop me from coaching after I healed. I coached middle school and high school girls’ soccer at a private Christian school in San Diego, and I was an assistant track coach to the man who was a mentor and grandfather figure to me. That was very rewarding and has let me delighted in progress directly stemming from my influence. But on a personal note college and a lack of drive to stay active in the sports world had decreased my delight in my personal fitness. Without soccer and without jump practice I seemed lost and in a limbo of athleticism of my past.

When I met part of the crew of the Bringas Athletics team I was at my heaviest weight and at my most unmotivated. The process of making me motivated for personal fitness again started with talking about my past and how proud I was of myself and my previous personal fitness. I started to get upset I had let myself gain 20 pounds without any fight to get it off. I started frequenting the gym and listening to the fun and practical work out routines from Josh Bringas. I have frequently apologized because I was a severe complainer when I started working out; ‘this is too much weight’ ‘you’re trying to kill me!’ ‘I had an injury there 6 years ago and it still hurts’. I swear, Josh must have really believed in me to of put up with me. After Josh figured out all my old injuries, and what weight I could really lift I began to see results by the pound and by the inch! I could squat over 70 pounds again and I was beginning to tone muscle again. Now I have plans with my sister to get involved in an indoor soccer league this summer, and I have asked Josh to make me a running and weight lifting routine in order to run a marathon next year. I still sometimes slack on the gym and blame it on school, but being brought out of a slump and having access to fun, fast and efficient work out routines through the Bringas Athletics team. Their knowledge about programming has allowed me to have goals I never would have thought of having let alone goals I have confidence of achieving.

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